View Vacancy - DEU114 - Head of Science and Innovation for Germany, Austria and Switzerland (based in Berlin)

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)
Science and Innovation

The British Embassy in Germany is part of a world-wide network, representing British political, economic and consular interests overseas and is now looking for a Head of Science and Innovation Network for Germany, Austria and Switzerland (SIN DACH).

Science and innovation are at the heart of the UK Government’s strategy for prosperity and sustainable growth. The UK is already a global leader in science and innovation and we recognise that international partnership is essential to maintaining our excellence, our reputation and our global competitiveness in these areas. Science and innovation (S&I) were named amongst the PM’s priorities for the UK in negotiating its exit from the EU. Supporting our international collaboration in these areas will become more important as UK makes preparations to leave. Germany is a major global research power and a vital partner for the UK in Europe.

The UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) has approximately 90 officers around the world, ~22 in Europe, tasked with building partnerships and collaborations which deliver policy, research or business outcomes against the SIN Global Strategy, benefiting both the UK and host country. The UK’s developing Industrial Strategy will have a strong S&I base which will guide and inform SIN’s future work in support of prosperity and economic growth.

At the same time, the jobholder will become part of the British Government’s presence in Germany, supported and fostered by this network. The role supports UK international S&I priorities and the UK’s high global S&I rankings by:

  • Leading effective delivery of the bilateral HMG S&I agenda across Germany, Austria and Switzerland (SIN DACH), measured by strong research, policy and prosperity outcomes;
  • Strengthening the UK-Germany bilateral political relationship through S&I;
  • Enhancing the reputation and reach of UK S&I in Germany and across the DACH region, line-managing and coaching a team of four staff in three cities (Berlin, Munich, Berne), while supporting a colleague in Vienna.


Main responsibilities will include:

Leadership and management

  • Agenda setting for bilateral S&I work in Germany in the context of the UK’s EU exit, with oversight for Switzerland and Austria;
  • Line-management of four officers across Berlin, Munich and Berne and management of devolved project funds ~€70,000 (tbc);
  • Membership of the SIN Europe Regional Management Board with a role in agenda setting and network management for the full region of 22 staff. 


Policy reporting and analysis

  • Proactive and reactive reporting and analysis to UK government science and innovation leads on local S&I policy developments, including UK-Germany comparative information and insight;
  • Drafting and maintaining standard briefing on the German science and innovation landscape;
  • S&I policy advice to Embassy seniors and UK government leads, including Ministerial briefing.


Stakeholder engagement

  • Building strong contact networks across core policy and research organisations (e.g. the BMBF, HQs for Max Planck, Helmholtz, Fraunhofer etc…), at both senior and working level;
  • Broader stakeholder outreach in priority thematic areas for SIN Germany (currently Future Manufacturing, Clean Energy, Life Science and Global Health, Future Cities and Oceans);
  • Harnessing networks to deliver information gathering, influencing, and high-impact projects.

Project delivery

  • Lead and manage SIN Germany in design and delivery of high-impact science and innovation projects which enhance UK reputation in Germany, strengthen the UK-Germany bilateral relationship, and create other policy, research or commercial outcomes;
  • Guide or oversee project work in Switzerland and possibly Austria.


Learning and development (L&D) and corporate contribution

  • The successful applicant will be encouraged to be actively involved in the corporate life of the Embassy, contributing to the wider objectives of the British Government’s Germany network and supporting the Embassy’s positive working environment;
  • The British Embassy in Germany has a strong ethos of Learning and Development, including our L&D Week. In addition, there will be many opportunities to attend external seminars and events on relevant issues. This is in addition to induction programmes offered to all Embassy and S&I Network staff.
  • Fluency in English and German (both oral and written);
  • Thorough knowledge of UK and German research and innovation systems;
  • Experience of working in an international policy environment;
  • Line and team management experience;
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Proven ability to form professional relationships and build trust with a wide range of contacts including at senior and political level;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Proven team player as well as ability to work autonomously on own initiative.
  • Relevant science (STEM), research or innovation qualifications or working experience;
  • Experience of programme and project management, and remote line-management;
  • Knowledge and contact networks around one or more of SIN Germany’s current thematic priority areas (Future Manufacturing, Clean Energy, Future Cities, Oceans).
Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace
2 April 2017
C4 (L)
Fixed Term, Full-time
Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
British Embassy
6,259 gross (salary is not negotiable)
1 May 2017

This is a full-time position of five working days 37.5 hours per week, for an initial contract period of two years.

All applicants should have the right to live and work in Germany. The successful candidate must have pre-existing work authorization for Germany in order to apply. The British Embassy does not sponsor for work permits.

The successful candidate will be subject to professional background check, security clearance and a probation period of six months.

Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy in Germany are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local German employment law.

There are opportunities to access L&D through both the Germany Network and SIN Europe. SIN officers are encouraged to complete Prosperity / Economic Diplomacy modules of the FCO Diplomatic Academy. L&D undertaken by the current jobholder included a placement at FCO in London and participation in the FCO Global Leadership Development Programme. This is in addition to the induction programme offered to all Embassy staff.

The successful applicant will be encouraged to be actively involved in the corporate life of the Embassy, contributing to the wider objectives of the British Government’s Germany network and supporting the Embassy’s positive working environment.

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

We advise you to allow enough time to complete and submit your full application, since only applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered.

Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is considered to be the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.

Please be advised that the British Diplomatic Missions will not be able to meet the travel costs incurred when travelling to the interview, nor the costs connected with relocation if offered a job.

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This opportunity is closed to applications.